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Abortion and Euthanasia

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By Michael Amaning Abortion and Euthanasia Abortion and euthanasia are topics that spark an endless debate within religious and philosophical groups. To therefore answer the question it is essential to break down and analyse the question. What is the definition of abortion and euthanasia? Abortion is defined as: The expulsion of the foetus before the seventh mouth of utero-gestation, or before it is viable. Again to understand this definition we must break it down to gain full access to its meaning, according to (Wilcockson) viability is defined as: When the foetus is considered able to sustain its own life given reasonable care. This definition is very close to U.K law addressing abortion, in which an abortion is allowed up to 24 weeks, which according to the law gives the protection from when it has developed to a stage physically in which it can survive out side the mother's womb. This objective definition often alienates many religious communities that almost in unison agree in the sanctity of a human being and its preservation. Let us take the Roman Catholic Church and analyse its position on abortion. The first disagreement is with the meta-ethics or definition of abortion related word and its laws, is the term foetus, is this word meant to simply describe a clump of cell which has potential to grow, or from the moment of conception the foetus is accepted as a full member of society with, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church as having rights and being recognised by society as a person with these rights. ...read more.


The death of Jesus is used as an example of a painful death in which life was lived to the end. Again if we are to emulate Christ's life we should live it to its end, and experience part of his pain, which he undertook, for our sins. Euthanasia also challenges a person's faith, as we believe that god doesn't have the power to heal our illness and for that reason doesn't only affect ourselves but society because Christians are representative of their faith. As a result euthanasia is a public declaration of one's loss of faith in gods power. A protestant view is in agreement on the sanctity of life and its opposition to god's law. On the other hand they do take on board the quality of life of the patient as well. They believe that if a patient were to ask to stop medication thereby bringing death quicker, the church is more understanding of this and view. Hence this is less of an offence. In this situation they would again support and advise. However there are certain ethical theories that are used in both the protestant church and Roman Catholic Church. The protestant church do use the ethical theory Situation ethics by Joseph Fletcher. His ethical theory states that every situation is unique and the best decision is one showing the most love. So euthanasia can be justified because it is showing the patient love in preventing unnecessary pain, anguish to the family. ...read more.


Or keep her attached in the hope she might regain consciousness? Both religious churches will seek advice from both god and their religious text e.g'. love thy neighbour' or 'do not kill' and ethical principals especially personhood, what constitutes a person? Nonetheless they differ in their decision. A roman catholic would argue that if we take her of life support we are undermining god omnipotence and families faith, consequently would aid the family in keeping her on life support. on the other hand if natural law is of greater influence then a minority will suggest that she should be taken of life support because it is interfering with life natural course. A protestant will argue that as well as consulting both god and their religious text, her unique situation is also of great importance therefore they may opt to allow her to die because of the hardship emotionally, physically, and financially her family will is going through. Although if god they feel has told them to leave thing as they are it will be done because god is of supreme importance. A Kantian will dismiss all forms of ethical and religious influences, and out of duty form a maxim to act in the most moral way using rationality. The most rational maxims may be, don't kill or always kill. However, Kant said maxims should be made with three postulates of practical reason in mind 1) God 2) Freedom 3) And immorality Therefore the bad maxim will be dismissed and the mother will not be allowed to die. . ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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